Author Archives: Ruth McElroy

#GirlsSupportingGirls

When I first took charge of Scottish Liberal Democrat Women earlier this year, my mission was simple: I was going to save the women.

In Scotland, we are fortunate to have the brilliant MPs Jo Swinson and Christine Jardine, but the proportion of women elected at all levels simply isn’t good enough. We are running an almighty campaign to get the brilliant Beatrice Wishart in the Scottish Parliamentary by-election in Shetland later this month but even when we get her elected, she will be the only one of 5 Lib Dem MSPs who is a woman. Luckily, our elected men couldn’t be better allies – I have personally witnessed Willie Rennie putting in real effort to push through new rules on all women shortlists, and encouraging many women to consider their futures with the party.

As to how to save the women, this was the subject of many a conversation amongst my network of Lib Dem Ladies, a WhatsApp group which has become somewhat infamous at Scottish conferences full of women who inspire me every day. There are a few more ideas in the pipeline but the one we’ve been working hard on for the last few months is #GirlsSupportingGirls.

We know that there are many, many women in our party who would make brilliant MPs, MSPs and local councillors, and we want to make sure that they achieve their goals. That is why for the last few months, we’ve been gathering SLDW members and sending them to support female candidates of all sorts. We started with the brilliant Jenny Marr, PPC for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, and have been travelling across the UK since, even road tripping to Brecon and Radnorshire to help out our brand new MP Jane Dodds. 

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